Coronavirus - The New Zealand Argument

Kvothe

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Experts, answer me this. Whenever I find myself in a discussion on the risk or incidence of false positive results from corona PCR tests, someone will mention New Zealand. They point out that, for months, New Zealand has done tens of thousands of PCR tests and not gotten a single positive result. Thus, their argument is that there is practically 0 chance of a false positive from a corona PCR. If the test wasn't 100% specific, there should have been hundreds of false positives in NZ. Debunk.

Coronavirus: New Zealand marks 100 days without community spread
 
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tankasnowgod

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Experts, answer me this. Whenever I find myself in a discussion on the risk or incidence of false positive results from corona PCR tests, someone will mention New Zealand. They point out that, for months, New Zealand has done tens of thousands of PCR tests and not gotten a single positive result. Thus, their argument is that there is practically 0 chance of a false positive from a corona PCR. If the test wasn't 100% specific, there should have been hundreds of false positives in NZ. Debunk.

Coronavirus: New Zealand marks 100 days without community spread

How many cycles is New Zealand using? Are they testing for the same fragment of DNA that other countries are testing for? Are their lab techs better trained in the process than other countries? Worse?

Their argument doesn't hold water anywhere outside of New Zealand for that specific time frame. It would seem that there was a 0% chance of getting ANY positive result, false or otherwise, if they got 0 positives for months.
 

Regina

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How many cycles is New Zealand using? Are they testing for the same fragment of DNA that other countries are testing for? Are their lab techs better trained in the process than other countries? Worse?

Their argument doesn't hold water anywhere outside of New Zealand for that specific time frame. It would seem that there was a 0% chance of getting ANY positive result, false or otherwise, if they got 0 positives for months.
we should check which Covid Diagnostic Testing kits the World Bank sent them in 2017. :smirk:
 

boris

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Experts, answer me this. Whenever I find myself in a discussion on the risk or incidence of false positive results from corona PCR tests, someone will mention New Zealand. They point out that, for months, New Zealand has done tens of thousands of PCR tests and not gotten a single positive result. Thus, their argument is that there is practically 0 chance of a false positive from a corona PCR. If the test wasn't 100% specific, there should have been hundreds of false positives in NZ. Debunk.

Coronavirus: New Zealand marks 100 days without community spread

It says 100 days without community transmission. They still had positive tests in that time.

What is community transmission?.
Community transmission is when there is no clear source of origin of the infection in a new community. It happens when you can no longer identify who became infected after being exposed to someone who interacted with people from the other infected communities.

There are only about 20 days without positives around June, but who knows how much they tested in that time.
COVID-19: Current cases



Apart from that it's hard to argue against lockdowns on the basis of false positives. So far I found the best angle to make someone think about it is that the term CASES or NEW INFECTIONS is completely innacurate. The test only determines viral particles, not an actual infection, so calling them cases is one of the first big lies that they tell us.
 
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boris

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And of course the "second wave" was accompanied by a not so subtle quintupling of tests in August.


labt.jpg
Can't have those graphs on the same page, would be too obvious right :rolleyes:?
 

Kvothe

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It says 100 days without community transmission. They still had positive tests in that time.

What is community transmission?.
Community transmission is when there is no clear source of origin of the infection in a new community. It happens when you can no longer identify who became infected after being exposed to someone who interacted with people from the other infected communities.

There are only about 20 days without positives around June, but who knows how much they tested in that time.
COVID-19: Current cases



Apart from that it's hard to argue against lockdowns on the basis of false positives. So far I found the best angle to make someone think about it is that the term CASES or NEW INFECTIONS is completely innacurate. The test only determines viral particles, not an actual infection, so calling them cases is one of the first big lies that they tell us.

Thanks for the input. I know that the definition of a case is meaningless since most cases are not what "case" used to mean, i.e. a sick person. I just find it curious that there are so few positives. Most pcr-tests for corona have a specificity of around 98%. Assuming that 1-3% of the population are infected, (New Zealand being an island you can assume the lower estimate) the number of false positives should be very high.
Assume you have a population of 1000 people. When 1% is infected you have 990 healthy people, and 10 infected people. If the test is 98% specific, it means that you should expect 2% of the 990 people to receive a false positive, that is 20 people. That's why I find it weird to see so few cases in NZ when they test so much. Either their test is very specific (99,9999%), or they re-test every positive case to bring the number down.
 

boris

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Yeah, the tests are confusing. That's why I don't focus on their accuracy in an argument, too many variables that are hard to check.

If the test is 98% specific, it means that you should expect 2% of the 990 people to receive a false positive, that is 20 people.

There are false negatives too.
 
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boris

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Apparently the false negative rate is based on repeated negative tests that later turned out positive, so it probably doesn't mean much....

https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/369/bmj.m1808.full.pdf
A systematic review of the accuracy of covid-19 tests reported false negative rates of between 2% and 29% (equating to sensitivity of 71-98%), based on negative RT-PCR tests which were positive on repeat testing.6
 

blob69

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I had a look at NZ covid-19 graphs and they don't make much sense if you compare them to graphs from Europe or US.

Here you can see that NZ is indeed testing a lot:

nz-testing.png

However, the share of positive tests (positive rate) is miniscule as compared to Europe or US, where it is usually much higher (up to 35%). In NZ it has consistently been 0.0% to 0.1% since end of April, even though it was winter there:

nz-positive-rate.png

Accordingly they have few cases and even fewer deaths:

nz-cases.png

nz-deaths.png

It could be they had measures that were way more effective than those anywhere in Europe or US, but that's unlikely IMO. A more likely explanation is that they use a different type of PCR test. Perhaps they use Asian PCR tests, because their graphs are similar to some Asian statistics which are very low compared to EU and US. What points to this explanation is also that Australia has similar graphs to NZ, especially the one for positive rate, which in beginning of April was up to 4% and then sharply dropped below 1% despite winter and flu season (maybe in the beginning both countries used a different PCR test?).

I've been looking at graphs from different countries a lot lately and it is all very illogical and confusing. The only explanation I can see is that different PCR tests are giving very different results, and countries over time using different tests is changing the positive rate etc. Countries have all been buying new PCR test equipment lately, likely not always from the same manufacturer.
 

Geronimo

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We just need to somehow find out which cycle threshold they test at. I've always maintained that the "pandemic" will end overnight if they reduce the cycle threshold down to 33, and any measure that ends up "working" will have to coincide with this drop in cycle thresholds for the test.
 

Whichway?

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Thanks for the input. I know that the definition of a case is meaningless since most cases are not what "case" used to mean, i.e. a sick person. I just find it curious that there are so few positives. Most pcr-tests for corona have a specificity of around 98%. Assuming that 1-3% of the population are infected, (New Zealand being an island you can assume the lower estimate) the number of false positives should be very high.
Assume you have a population of 1000 people. When 1% is infected you have 990 healthy people, and 10 infected people. If the test is 98% specific, it means that you should expect 2% of the 990 people to receive a false positive, that is 20 people. That's why I find it weird to see so few cases in NZ when they test so much. Either their test is very specific (99,9999%), or they re-test every positive case to bring the number down.

They should be running both a positive and negative control when they do the tests. These act as internal quality control to ensure the test reagents and PCR machine is functioning as it should. So when they test a batch of patient samples even though the patient samples may all produce a negative result, the positive control should record a positive result and provide them with confidence that the test is working as it should.
 

blob69

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They should be running both a positive and negative control when they do the tests. These act as internal quality control to ensure the test reagents and PCR machine is functioning as it should. So when they test a batch of patient samples even though the patient samples may all produce a negative result, the positive control should record a positive result and provide them with confidence that the test is working as it should.

Do you maybe know if every lab does these controls?
 

lvysaur

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My current position is that the virus is real, and probably originated in SEAsia, not China.

Bat-eating is a more common custom in SEAsia and the Pacific Islands. The number of bats is much greater. The species diversity of bats is also MUCH MUCH greater.

SEAsian countries have notoriously low case counts and deaths from the virus, despite being ill-equipped and poor compared to NEAsian countries.

The virus originated in SEAsia or the Pacific Islands, and was mild and harmless. Eventually it slowly spread throughout NEAsia and Oceania. In October 2019 it mutated (either naturally or via human tampering) into a deadly form, what media calls "Sars Cov 2". In February 2020 it mutated again (naturally or human assisted) into an even MORE deadly Euro-American strain. People who experienced the harmless versions of the virus naturally have immunity to all subsequent versions.

This means SEAsia > China/Oceania > California > Europe/NY in terms of duration of exposure, and the case/death counts follow that trend exactly
 

Whichway?

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Do you maybe know if every lab does these controls?

No I can’t answer with any confidence there. In scientific research (my area) it is, and I cannot imagine that in pathology labs it would be different. I know a couple of friends in pathology. I’ll reach out to see if they know.
 

blob69

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No I can’t answer with any confidence there. In scientific research (my area) it is, and I cannot imagine that in pathology labs it would be different. I know a couple of friends in pathology. I’ll reach out to see if they know.

Thanks, that would be useful to know. I just watched this video yesterday:
They say that in the US no controls are required. They also talk of other serious problems with the PCR test in the US (i.e. a scientist who runs a lab found out that negative controls were contaminated).
 
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